LETTER: Bill C-8 will criminalize therapists trying to help

Dear Editor,

Something worrisome is happening to gender-confused children in Canada.

Every parent should know that Bill C-8, the Conversion Therapy Ban, limits opportunities for children to receive thorough psychological care. Should this bill pass, it will criminalize therapists who help children to accept their natural bodies.

In the past, therapists used various methods, including waiting. They discovered that, after puberty, 85 per cent of children became comfortable in their natural bodies, and stopped claiming to be the opposite sex. This cautious approach is now vilified as conversion therapy. Counsellors who treat underlying issues, such as depression, anxiety and autism, are now at risk of being charged with a crime.

Endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw warns that the current experimental practice of puberty blockers followed by cross sex hormones leads to sterility. Recently the UK launched a review of this practice. Canada should also pause to think, especially considering the growing number of young people who are detransitioning and reidentifying with their birth sex.

Instead of criminalizing conversion therapy for children with gender identity issues, we should outlaw the unethical practice of experimenting on children’s bodies. Parents should contact their MPs and tell the government to stay out of the counselling rooms of the nation.

Elisabeth MacKinnon

Wellington